Applying for a partner visa in Australia

Partner Visa Subclass 820 Onshore Temporary

Stage 1 - Partner or Prospective Marriage Visa (300,309/100,820/801)

In Australia you must be in a genuine, domestic relationship for one year before you can apply for the partner visa.

You must be the spouse (be married) or a de facto partner relationship of an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen.

You may ask how this can be made possible when you are away from your partner for most of the time? Here is what we have done. But first a few words about my background.

It was when I was confident to move back to Germany and not looking at all for someone when my partner fell into my life. I don't think we were meant to meet a day sooner than we did. We met when I was ready for him, and within 2 months we knew we wanted to spend a long time together.

I met my partner during a visit to Sydney in May 2016 while Stavanger, Norway was still my home at that time. Clint came to visit for the summer and I was back in Australia for Christmas and New Year.

A lot of research about visa possibilities was necessary and we consulted an agent in Sydney who advised us, about a few things. This one time consultation was free of charge. They told us that registering our relationship would wave the 12 months cohabitant period. Registering your relationship is possible in the State of NSW, QLD and SA and the costs vary with being the most expensive in NSW.

Whether you managed to live together for 12 months or registered your relationship as a de-facto couple you must keep all evidence that your relationship is genuine. It took us months to obtain all the necessary documentation the immigration ask for before we applied online for my visa.

And here is our checklist:

The documentation I applied with (the applicant):
  • Form 47SP
  • Certified copy of my passport
  • Certified copy of my birth certificate
  • Certifed copy of my driver licence
  • Certified copy of my Norwegian police certificate (since I lived there last)
  • Form 80 - Personal particulars for assessment including character assessment
  • Curriculum Vitae
The documentation my partner included (the sponsor)
  • Form 40SP
  • Certified Copy of sponsor´s passport
  • Certified Copy of sponsor´s birth certificate
  • Certifed Copy of sponsor´s driver licence
  • Copy of sponsor´s work contract
  • Payslips of sponsor
The documentation that proves our relationship:
  • Form 888 Statutory declaration by a supportive witness in relation to a Partner or Prospective Marriage visa application, filled in and certified by three friends
  • Certified copy of our Relationship Certificate (we registered in NSW)
  • A letter "our story" that describes how we met and how our relationship developed incl. pictures from all our trips together (overseas or camping with friends, photoshoots and get-togethers with friends and family
  • Copies of love letters and cards while we were apart
  • Pictures of presents we made to each other
  • Copies of gift vouchers (e.g. Groupon)
  • Facebook screenshot from where we made our relationship official as well as of pictures together and comments from friends
  • Screenshot of mutual Facebook friends
  • Screenshots of Clint talking to my family members via facetime and Email
  • Certified copy of our joint bank account details incl. Account Balance Summary
  • Emails
  • Travel receipts (flight tickets, campervan hire, hotel vouchers, Airbnb reviews that say both our names etc
  • Residental Tenancy Agreement that is in both our names after we moved to our flat
  • Gas and electricity account both in our names
  • Copies of purchases for the flat that state our address
opera house

It sounds pretty easy but trust me, it took weeks and weeks to collect all the necessary information especially when we had not known that the Relationship Registration would wave the 12 months of living together. Due to our long distance relationship we still had not lived together for one year at the time of applying for my visa but we had known each other by then for almost 1,5 year and were certain to have enough documentation to prove that our relationship is loving and genuine.

Online Immigration Account

We applied online via Immi Account. You simply open an account and attach all your documents once you applied and payed for your visa. 

Tip: Set up your bank account first and pay via BPAY and you save the crazy high visa card fees. 

At the time we applied for the Partner Visa the cost had risen to $7,000.00 (Update to the visa costs: As of 1st July 2018 the visa cost have risen to 7,160 AUD ). So once you know you will apply go ahead and do so. You will have plenty of time to attach necessary documentation on the go. Note that you can only attach 60 documents each (applicant and sponsor) so make sure you have the most important documents attached and do not waste important space for photos ;) 

Tourist Visa & Bridging Visa

I entered Australia on a tourist visa and as soon my visa expired I was automatically on a Bridging Visa.

Bridging visas in Australia are simply transitory visas which permit you to remain in Australia for a certain period of time. Generally, bridging visas follow the expiration of your current substantive visa, such as a Student Visa, while waiting for an application for another substantive visa, Work and Travel Visa or Visitor Visa to be processed.

Bridging visas can be granted if your original visa has expired and you are waiting for the application of a substantive visa to be finalised.

I will stay on this bridging visa until a decision from the Immigration will be made and it can take up to 24 months at this current stage. The Bridging Visa though grants you to stay in Australia until advised otherwise and you will have full work rights. Also good to know is that you can apply for Medicare and will receive an Interim Card which allows you use the medical system. 

Processing time

The visas are now processed in the order they were received, only a bit faster if they don’t have to ask for more information.

This was a small overview on what we have done. I am confident I will get my visa approved once Immigration looks up our files. We did a lot of research online to get our documents together but also know now that there is no good place where it´s explained step by step. I have a feeling Immigration leaves you a bit in the unknown so you actually do your best to prove your relationship as being genuine and not exploiting the possibility to immigrate to Australia. Last but not least, if you are in a genuine relationship I highly believe you do not need an Immigration/ Visa Agent for your process. Save that money.

If you have questions feel free to connect and ask me anything.

partner visa australia
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